Shelbyville outslugs Tigerettes in season opener

Friday, March 14, 2014
Tribune photoa by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber Marshall County's Ashton Watkins slides safely into third base while advancing 60 feet on a McKenzie Anderson RBI groundout in the bottom of the first inning against Shelbyville.

Defending District 8-AAA tournament champ Shelbyville spoiled Heather Denton's debut as head coach of the Marshall County Tigerettes softball team, as the Golden Eaglettes (2-0) defeated MCHS 11-5 in Lewisburg.

The Tigerettes actually held a 4-3 lead through the first five innings of play, but Shelbyville erupted for seven runs in the top of the sixth to seize a 10-4 advantage before taking home their second win of the season.

Tough opponents

"It was exciting and there were a lots of nerves, but I'm proud to be their coach," said Denton. "We're setting the bar high here because I want to get to the State Tournament. You don't get there playing easy teams. You get there playing hard teams."

After scoring 16 runs in their previous outing against Warren County, the Eaglettes blistered the ball for the second straight game and pounded out 14 hits against MCHS starting pitcher Grace Medley. The Tigerettes also made three costly errors, which contributed to seven of Shelbyville's 11 runs.

"They hit the ball hard the entire night and we made a few errors to compound things. They just started finding holes in the sixth inning," said Denton.

Allie O'Deneal and Tiana Sanders both tallied three hits and 3 RBI to spearhead the Eaglettes' offensive attack, while starting pitcher Jami Johnson helped her own cause by going 2-for-3 with 3 RBI. Bailey Cook and Alexis Larion added two hits and two runs scored for Shelbyville as well.

Tigerette hitters

Marshall County's Madison Hargrove lines a single into centerfield in the bottom of the second inning against Shelbyville.

The Tigerettes finished with 11 hits against Johnson, but left seven runners on base, including five in scoring position. Ashton wielded the biggest stick for Marshall County and went 3-for-4 with a double, a homerun, 2 RBI, and a two runs scored. McKenzie Anderson (2 RBI) and Jacey Perryman also notched two hits apiece for MCHS, while Madison Thomason (1 RBI), Mary Kate McGehee, Madison Hargrove, and Emily Martin each had one hit.

The Tigerettes knocked Shelbyville on their heels at the start of the game and pushed across three runs in the bottom of the first inning to grab a 3-0 lead.

Perryman singled to lead off the inning prior to advancing to second on a Allison Sheroski sacrifice bunt, while Sheroski reached base thanks to a Eaglette error. After Watkins belted a RBI double into the right centerfield gap to drive in Perryman, Anderson and Thomason plated Sheroski and Watkins with consecutive RBI groundouts.

Shelbyville erased the deficit in the top of the third inning by tallying three runs in the frame with the help of a Bailey Deason sacrifice fly and a pair of RBI singles by Sanders and O'Deneal to knot the contest at 3-3.

Temporary lead

Marshall County stranded two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the third, but took a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning when Perryman raced home on a RBI double by Anderson after leading off the frame with a single and advancing to second on a Sheroski sacrifice bunt.

MCHS' lead would prove to be short lived, as Shelbyville crossed home plate seven times in the top of the sixth on the strength of a MCHS error, a RBI single by Jameka Braden, a Johnson two-run single, two-run single by Sanders, and a O'Deneal two-run double to claim a 10-4 advantage.

The Eaglettes then tacked on a run in the top of the seventh on a RBI single by Johnson to stretch their lead to 11-4 before Watkins belted a solo homerun in the bottom half of the frame for the 11-5 final.